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Muthir al-ahzan wa munir subul al-ashjan (book)

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Muthir al-ahzan wa munir subul al-ashjan
Author Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Nama al-Hilli
Language Arabic
Series 1 vol.
Subject Imam al-Husayn (a)
Published Najaf
Publisher Al-Matba'at al-Haydariyya

Muthīr al-aḥzān wa munīr subul al-ashjān (Arabic: مُثیرُ الأحزان وَ مُنیرُ سُبُلِ الأشجان, literally: The provocative of griefs and the illuminater of the ways of sorrows) is a book regarding the tragedies of the Event of 'Ashura as well as the history and life of Imam al-Husayn (a). The book is written by the Shiite scholar, Ja'far b. Abi Ibrahim, known as Ibn Nama al-Hilli (d. 645/1247). The book is written in three chapters: biography of Imam al-Husayn (a), the events of 'Ashura and the stories of the Captives of Karbala. The book is also known as Ibn Namā's maqtal. It has been translated into Persian under Dar sug-i amir-i azadi (Lamenting the ruler of freedom).


Najm al-Din Ja'far b. Muhammad b. Ja'far b. Hibat Allah b. Nama al-Hilli was born in Hillah in Iraq. He was a scholar of the 7th/13th century and a teacher of al-'Allama al-Hilli. He also composed poems. Some of his poems regarding the Prophet Muhammad (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a) are available in some sources, including his own writings.

Motivation for Writing

According to the author himself, he wrote the book because the extant books regarding maqtal (Imam Husayn's (a) martyrdom) were either too long or too brief, so he wrote an intermediate book.


About the attribution of the book to Ibn Nama, it is mentioned in Rawdat al-jannat that al-Shahid al-Thani has speculated that Muthir al-ahzan and Dhawb al-nudar had been written by Ibn Nama's grandson. However, scholars such as Muhsin al-Amin in A'yan al-Shi'a have attributed this book to Ibn Nama himself adding that it is unknown whether Ibn Nama has had a grandson named after him.

Style of Writing

The book is only concerned with historical reports without any analysis. It does not involve any research about the causes and factors of this crucial, remarkable movement and its motivations. He reported Imam al-Husayn (a) martyrdom in a coherent way. He did not mention the chains of narrations of hadiths completely.


The book involves an introduction concerning the virtues of the Prophet's (s) Ahl al-Bayt (a) and their tragedies and shedding tears for their sorrow. The book has three parts ("maqsad"s) as follows:

  • The first part: a selection of Imam al-Husayn's (a) biography and historical developments leading to the Event of Karbala from Imam al-Husayn's (a) departure from Medina to his arrival in Karbala.
  • The second part: the events of the Day of 'Ashura through Imam al-Husayn's (a) martyrdom and the imprisonment of his household. This part concludes with hadiths in which Imam al-Husayn's (a) martyrdom and the Event of 'Ashura are prognosticated.
  • The third part: the story of the Prisoners of Karbala through their return to Medina. In this part, Imam al-Sajjad's (a) orations and sermons as well as those of the rest of Ahl al-Bayt (a) in Kufa, Syria and other places are cited.

Translations and Publications

Agha Buzurg Tihrani mentioned two translations of Muthir al-ahzan into Urdu. There is a translation of the book into Persian under Dar sug-i amir-i azadi by 'Ali Karami.

  • The book was published in Iran in 1318 Sh/1939 with a lithographic print.
  • It has also been published in Najaf by al-Matba'at al-Haydariyya.
  • The book has been published in one volume in Arabic by the publications of Madrasa Imam Mahdi (a) in Qom in 1406/1985.